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Aims: This study aimed to optimize the levels of gibberellic acid (GA3) and plant spacing on growth and yield of lettuce.
Study Design: The experiment was laid out in Randomized Complete Block Design with three replications.
Place and Duration of Study: Horticulture farm of Sher-e-Bangla Agricultural University, Dhaka-1207, from November 2013 to January 2014.
Methodology: The experiment consisted of two factors. Factor A- two levels of gibberellic acid (GA3,) application, viz. G1= 25 ppm and G2= 50 ppm in relation to a control G0 and factor B- four plant spacing viz. S1=15cm x 15cm, S2=20 cm x 20 cm, S3=25 cm x 25 cm and S4=30 cm x 30 cm. GA3 was applied twice as a foliar application by hand sprayer at 20 and 30 days after sowing. First, second and final harvesting was done at 25, 35 and 45 days after sowing respectively.
Results: The growth and yield characters of lettuce showed significant variation for different levels of GA3 and plant spacing. Among GA3 levels, 25 ppm GA3 produced the maximum number of leaves (15.6), leaf area (283.9 cm2), fresh weight (91.6 g plant-1), dry weight (11.8 g plant-1), fresh yield (1794 g plot-1) and gross yield (12 t ha-1) at final harvesting compared to control where GA3 was not used. Under plant spacing, highest plant height (17.5 cm), leaf area (281.1 cm2), fresh weight (99.1 g plant-1) and dry weight (12.1 g plant-1) was revealed from wider spacing 30 cm x 30 cm followed by optimum spacing 25cm x 25cm. Meanwhile, closure spacing 15 cm x 15 cm showed maximum fresh yield (1710 g plant-1) and gross yield (15.5 t ha-1) due to higher plant density at final harvesting. Besides, lower chlorophyll content (0.43%) and the highest number of leaves (16.2) was found from 25 cm x 25 cm at final harvesting. So, optimum spacing 25 cm x 25 cm would be more suitable considering different points of view. Moreover, the treatment combinations 25 ppm GA3 with 25 cm x 25 cm exhibited highest benefit-cost ratio (2.04) than other treatments.
Conclusions: It is concluded that the combinations 25 ppm GA3 application with 25cm x 25cm spacing would be optimum for better growth and yield of lettuce
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